Dean Hurley, who has worked as a music supervisor for David Lynch, is giving away a new solo album. The link above is to the article and if you click on the free download will give you a zip for the record which you can download to your iTunes. The vocals are all old soul samples, while somehow the music is inspire by Hans Zimmer’s score for, wait a minute, Days of Thunder! It sounds like a strange concept for sure, but I am willing to give it a try as I love his work with Lynch and also with singer Chrysta Bell.
I always like the blues played by Fleetwood Mac when Peter Green was in the band. It’s primitive in a really charming way. Half of the songs feature the same riff being played over and over again. The recording is distorted. When you hear blues bands out so many of the times they are what I call bow tie blues, where they are kind of clinical. It’s blues music for white men that listen between golf rounds. Or you sort of get the inspired by Stevie Ray wanking off blues. Stevie Ray was a one of a kind and had his thing, but most people that copy him just ape him or water him down. I like when blues music is kind of shitty. I like when someone is choking a guitar and you aren’t quite sure they know what they are doing, but somehow they get the feel and the rhythm just right.
In honor of Memorial Day here are three songs that deal with those who went to war, both those that came back and those that didn’t. All three of these songs feature great writing, with lived in characters that are fully formed. There is no mindless flag waving going on here. They all treat veterans like people, not like political imagery. In the first two there are even some short injections of dark humor.
Johnny Cash – Drive On
Marah – Round Eye Blues
Bruce Springsteen – The Wall
On a personal note I feel mixed emotions on Memorial Day as I scan the headlines. In our country we are always told to “support the troops”. But usually after the fact, after we have sent them out to be broken, after we have sent some to the final place they will see. Nothing to me says support the troops more than not sending them into war in the first place unless absolutely necessary. On Memorial Day you often read in the news about people getting easily offended over some kind of symbol they find disrespectful or something someone said. But where were these people when we allowed our leaders to send our young men and women to places they should have never been? Many of them were waving flags blindly. There are real lives that are damaged, families broken up. I’m for all kinds of healthcare, etc., when our troops come home. However, the best way to support the troops is through peace.
I wrote briefly about The O’Jays earlier. They are one of my favorite soul groups. I always thought this song was fantastic. Dealing with the haves and have-nots long before our current economic situation, the song addresses the increasing greed of the 1%. However, that’s only a part of why I love this song. The production and playing on it is ridiculous. It’s like everyone is on space coke, flying as fast as possible towards a dark star. And we won’t even mention the insanity of their Travelin’ At the Speed of Thought!
People have been talking about Dylan playing on Letterman’s second to last show. This is an interesting article about Dylan’s first Letterman gig, when he was struggling in the 80’s, around the release of Infidels.
I’ve always loved Infidels. Dylan’s lyrics are amazing on that record. I also like the oddball combination of him with Sly and Robbie, the great reggae rhythm section. Another Dylan 80’s album I really like is Empire Burlesque. There are many that will bemoan the 80’s production, and I understand that urge, but the songs themselves are largely fantastic. Most Dylan fans will mention Dark Eyes, but Emotionally Yours, later made great by the O’Jays, is a fantastic ballad. Tight Connection to My Heart is also an excellent pop song with great lyrics. In some ways I feel like the 80’s production at times, if you can do away with your prejudice, makes lyrics like, “They’re beating the devil out of a guy who’s wearing a powder-blue whig”, even more insane and absurd, heightening the comedy.
Pop star Twinkle has passed away. I found out about her through The Smiths cover version of her song Golden Lights. (Which I actually like, despite many fans problem with the song.) However, the real reason why this news matters to me is that I absolutely adore her teenage death disc Terry. (above) I am extremely fond of the “death disc”. These are pop songs that are about teenage tragedies. Other songs in this genre include Leader of the Pack and Dead Man’s Curve. I love the duality of the genre, where effervescent melodies are combined with death. This song is extremely great, one of my favorites in the genre, because Twinkle’s voice is largely dead pan, highlighting the comedic element of the song. It’s if at an extremely young age she is telling the listener that, “oh well, these things happen.” And they do. Twinkle is stoic in the face of tragedy, narrating the song with a removed distance. She has excepted the hand that fate has dealt. Her singing represents the idea that tragedy plus time equals comedy. It’s one of those times when song and singer are greatly matched, providing layers to the material that might not be there in another interpretation. Twinkle is beyond us now. Is Terry still waiting?